Fontenelle, who lived till within one month of a century, was very
rarely known to laugh or cry, and even boasted of his insensibility. One
day, a certain bon-vivant Abbe came unexpectedly to dine with him. The
Abbe was fond of asparagus dressed with butter; Fontenelle, also, had a
great gout for the vegetable, but preferred it dressed with oil.
Fontenelle said, that, for such a friend, there was no sacrifice he
would not make; and that he should have half the dish of asparagus
which he had ordered for himself, and that half, moreover, should be
dressed with butter. While they were conversing together, the poor
Abbe fell down in a fit of apoplexy; upon which Fontenelle instantly
scampered down stairs, and eagerly bawled out to his cook, "The whole
with oil! the whole with oil, as at first!"
* * * * *